It has been building up in me for a while: a need for solitude. A need for aloneness. A need to disconnect. A need to then reconnect.
Wednesday night, I decided to take the leap. I called Kyle and tried (and probably failed) to explain why I needed to cut off all communication with him for a while. I logged out of Facebook and Twitter on my phone and my laptop and turned the self-control app on for as long as it would let me. I cancelled lunch and dinner dates and didn't schedule any new ones. I didn't make any plans. I was going to do this all or nothing.
It might sound petty or stupid or like a really dramatic and unnecessary idea, but I knew I needed it. I knew the Spirit was leading me to just take a step back from things that had been consuming my time and energy so I could focus on what He was doing in my heart. So, I trusted, and I did it.
It was NOT easy. Let me tell you. I'm an introvert, and I always love my alone time. This time, though, being alone with myself meant really being focused on my heart and my emotions and what God was speaking into me, and it was intimidating. I didn't have distractions of checking Twitter or texting Kyle or just being absorbed in my phone. I really just had myself and God and a lot of thoughts in my head, and it was a little scary.
Thursday I was reluctant. I lingered where people were. I stayed in the kitchen with my housemates instead of just going to my room and being alone. I didn't know if I wanted to know what I was going learn from this time. I was just so hesitant to really embrace this period of time.
Thursday I was refreshed. I noticed little things around me. I looked at the faces of people I passed instead of looking at my phone like usual. I looked at the sky and the ground and I just observed. It was refreshing to not have to worry about keeping connected with other people.
Thursday I was present.
Thursday I was really, truly, alone. I shut everything and everyone out. I made a new playlist of calming worship songs that I love. I lit all the candles in my room. I listened. I wrote. I sat. I thought. I prayed. I cried. I worshipped. I wondered. I struggled. I wrestled.
Friday I was reminded. It was a beautiful morning, and I was so overwhelmed by God's love for me. I saw it in everything around me. I felt a real, tangible sense of a beautiful and powerful love that only my Abba could provide. I was so content, so at peace, so rested.
Friday I was craving. The words of 1 Peter 2:2 kept ringing in my ears- I was like that newborn baby, CRAVING more. I had tasted the pure goodness of my Father and I was so hungry for more. I was so engaged and tuned in to what the Spirit was pouring into me, and I wanted so much more. I was so encouraged.
Saturday I was uplifted. Spending the whole day with my family was wonderful. It was a day full of fun adventures- farmers markets and book fairs and football games and meals. It was fun and simple and easy and just perfect. Being with them reminds me of everything I am. They have always known me and always loved me. I'm the realest form of myself when I'm with them, and it always refreshes me and encourages me. They're my best friends and favorite people in this whole world, and they just make my heart happy.
Saturday I was content. I've learned a lot. I've struggled. I've grown. I've been so reminded of the basics, of what's important, of what my Father says I am, of how He loves me perfectly. I needed time away from things, but I'm so ready to step forward and re-engage with people and my passions in a more confident and committed way. No more apathy for this girl. I feel so refreshed and restored and ready for what He has ahead of me.
Having to depend so fully on the Word and my time with the Lord over the past few days because there was nothing else to turn to reminded me that He truly is the giver of life as it's meant to be lived. Apart from him, I'll never feel fulfilled or alive or restored. I'm restless until I rest in Him, and that has never been more true than now. Resting in Him restored me in ways I didn't know I needed restoration. And it feels good. Really good. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Abba.